Rawalpindi  -    A woman and a six-year-old girl were killed while more than 70 after being hit by stray bullets fired by kite flyers during Basant, which was celebrated despite a ban on Friday, informed official sources.

Similarly, more than 50 people of different ages have got injured critically because of receiving cuts with metal twine, falling from rooftops, receiving bullet injuries, electric shocks and hitting with moving vehicles on roads in an attempt to catch stray kites, they said.

The emergency service Rescu1122 faced huge difficulties in shifting the victims to teaching hospitals due to the shortage of staff and vehicles. Most of the victims were shifted in local transport in private and government-run hospitals.

Police held dozens of kite flyers during clampdown and seized kites, strings, weapons, bullets, and other musical instruments. A police party came under attack by a mob in limits of Police Station (PS) Ganjmandi. Police also banned entry of motorcyclists on flyovers in order to keep them safe from metal twine attack.

The kite flyers kept resorting aerial firing throughout the day besides setting off crackers posing huge troubles for citizens. WAPDA has to suspended supply of electricity due to small and big blasts because of touching metal twine with electrical wires.

According to sources, a woman namely Shamim Bibi was killed in Dhoke Khaba after a stray bullet hit her. The dead body of the lady was shifted to Benazir Bhutto Hospital. Similarly, 6-year-old Urwa was also killed by a stray bullet in the area of Shakrial, the precinct of PS Sadiqabad, they said. The throat of another motorcyclist got slit with stray at Rahimabad bridge and the victim was taken to BBH by Rescue 1122.

Unfortunately, the government and police failed to stop the kite flying material in the city that led to the death of two people and injuring many others. Police claimed to have arrested scores of people for the floating ban on kite flying.

According to sources, the residents of Rawalpindi celebrated Basant with impunity violating the ban on kite flying imposed by the government. The sky was filled with colorful kites while gunshots could be heard everywhere. Even the kite flyers resorted to aerial firing in Cantt and garrison that are considered being sensitive areas besides near Nur Khan Airbase and other military installations.

Similarly, large numbers of victims including children were also brought to the emergency departments of BBH and HFH with deep cuts on throats and in hands caused by metal twine, the source said. Interestingly, the DMSs denied that they had received any single kite flying victim.

The areas where people floated ban into air by flying kites with metal twines included Banni, Sadiqabad, Waris Khan, Committee Chowk, Glass Factory, Dhoke Elahi Bux, Kohati Bazaar, Raja Bazaar, Bhabra Bazaar, Purana Qila, Ganjmandi, Gawalmandi, Saddar, Kashmir Road, Mohan Pura, City Saddar Road, Arya Mohala, Commercial Market, 6th Road, 7th Road, Dhoke Khabba, Amar Pura, Chah Sultan, Shakrial, Kuri Road, Muslim Town, Trolley Adda, Khana, Dhoke Kala Khan, Double Road, Faizabad, IJ Principal Road, Pirwadhai, Fauji Colony, Dhoke Mangtal, Dhoke Ratta, Railway Carriage Factory, Habib Colony, Westridge, Naseerabad, Misrial Road, Chakra, Peshawar Road, Adiala Road, Morgah, Tulsa, Dheri Hassanabad, Lalazar and many other areas.

“It has become difficult to go out of the house as a stray string can cause cut on throats,” said Muhammad Aslam, a government servant, who uses a motorcycle to go office. He said the government should impose a complete ban on kite and twine manufacturing factories.

Despite police raids and arrests, Khalid Khan of Mohan Pura said, the people are buying kites and chemical twines openly from shops. He said that his family is disturbed owing to the sound of gunshots fired by kite flyers in his area.